Friday, 18 April 2008

While my mojo gently sleeps

Things have not been to good for me on the creative front of late: nothing major, I just seem to have misplaced my creative juices. Hopefully, they haven't evaporated but have concentrated into a thickly aromatic jus that just needs water added at a later date to reactivate the crafty goodness (I've been reading far too many cookbooks; can you tell?!) Thats why I haven't been blogging or going into the Etsy forums as I have nothing new to show you, no new WIP's, and I feel like a bit of a fraud. But I have some ideas bubbling away that have started my brain cells ticking, so watch this space. Its been school hols over the last 2 weeks, so I'm hoping to get stuck in to some creative shenanigans next week. I can't remember if I'd mentioned this before, (apologies if I have: go and put the kettle on and I'll try to be brief) but my 'studio' is the kitchen in our teeny Edwardian (Victorian?) mid terrace cottage. Its a busy room, full of baking, music, chat, homework and never-ending washing up. Its hard to sustain a creative flow here whilst looking after a family and I get very frustrated. Hopefully, we'll be able to move and yumptatious can have its own space. (If you would like to buy a beautiful, 2-bed house in Tonbridge, do let me know!)

But I have been reading....
I've spoken about the possible perks of working in a bookshop before, but failed to mention this extremely generous gift from Ian McEwan to all Waterstone's employees:

The inscription on the inside reads,
'Congratulations to all at Waterstone's for a quarter of a century of brilliant service to readers'

To be honest, I didn't instantly jump at the chance to devour this book: I had tried, unsuccesfully to read 'Atonement' but could not get into it. I think I gave up when I got to the point where the young girl gazes in wonderment at her hand...for a whole page... I just kept thinking, 'I could be dead tomorrow and am wasting these precious moments that I will never get back, over a book I feel I should read but has failed to engage me on any level'. I will give it another go at some point, but from chatting to others, I think he is an author that strongly divides readers. The last time I saw such strength of feeling was over 'One Hundred Years of Solitude', a book you either adore with a passion usually reserved for George Clooney, Daniel Craig or Green and Blacks chocolate, or hate it, with an equally strong passion usually reserved for Anthea Turner, Avid Merrion or Brussel Sprouts. I hated the book and hurled it across the room with venomous aplomb when I finished it.
However, I read a review of 'On Chesil Beach' that roused my interest and so pulled it off the shelves, blew off the dust, removed it from its protective case, spending an unnaturally long time appreciating the chocolate edging of the pages, the burnt bronze embossed seagulls and lettering, and started to read.
It's a beautiful story, at times hilarious in its detailing of post-war embarrassment and social expectations. The characters are both engaging and angrily frustrating at the same time and in this instance, McEwan's eye for detail is enlightening, not stifling. If you are sweet enough to presently be thinking of holding onto your virginity until your wedding night (as if anyone with such morals would read my diatribe!) please read this first! If, like me, you married in black and thus had a carefree honeymoon, read this and feel smug in your sluttish wisdom! Just read this book: its very short, like a concentrated jus!
And thus, the posting circle is complete!

ps. what books would you recommend?

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